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Private companies taking advantage of govt's mistakes: CJP

Irked by the increasing load shedding in Karachi, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday said private companies are taking advantage of mistakes made by the government.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC), headed by the chief justice heard the Karachi load shedding case and questioned whether the electricity issue has been resolved in the metropolis. "How much of the power problem has been solved in Karachi? You have also increased electricity prices" he remarked.

The chief justice said private companies such as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Power Division and the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) are taking advantage of mistakes made by the government. "No one is doing anything. What services are you providing to people? What is your justification for staying on the job? You all should be fired," he demanded.

CJP Gulzar Ahmed said neither the federal government nor the power supply companies are doing anything to solve the matter, adding that the federation had to fulfill its responsibility which it failed to do.

He further commented on the billions of rupees being paid to all the institutions. "What are they doing for the convenience of the people?"

Justice Faisal Arab asked why K-Electric does not increase the capacity of electricity in Karachi. To this, a KE official responded that a request to increase the capacity to 900 megawatts was pending before NEPRA.

The chief justice questioned when KE will provide electricity to Karachi. "Where is the CEO? Who is the real owner of KE?"

KE's counsel Ali Zafar said the company has nine directors and it is a joint venture between Saudi Arabia and Kuwaiti business groups, with over 400 million invested in both groups.

"Eventually there will be more groups behind these groups. Why not send the managing director to jail and impose heavy fines?" CJP remarked.

Lawyer Faisal Siddiqui said the federal government has appointed former CEO Tabish Gohar as a special assistant at a time when KE's case is pending in court.

The federal government requested the court to give a briefing which the court granted. It sought a detailed report from NEPRA and KE within four weeks.

Within two weeks, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, on behalf of the federal government will brief the court on the future plan.




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